Herb Silverman, Founder of Secular Coalition of America, Speaks in Berkeley

Herb Silverman, founder and president emeritus of the Secular Coalition for America, will speak at Himalayan Flavors in Berkeley at 7:00 PM on Friday, September 27th. His talk will focus on his life journey from an Orthodox Jew raised in Philadelphia, to mild-mannered math professor, to accidental activist atheist when he moved to South Carolina. He'll talk about his challenge to the South Carolina Constitution and his Supreme Court victory, which paved the way for allowing atheists to hold public office in South Carolina. He'll also talk about his political activism and coalition building, including his invitation to the White House and his adventures with people like Billy Graham, Jimmy Carter, and Richard Dawkins, who wrote the Foreword to his recent book, Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt.

We are very fortunate to have such an icon of our movement speaking to us. The event will begin with a dinner and social time. (Please do purchase food, as the room is free as long as we buy enough food.) Then Herb will speak, followed by a discussion period. Copies of Herb's book will be for sale. This event is co-sponsored by Atheists Advocates of SF, Bay Area Humanists and East Bay Atheists. The venue is two blocks from North Berkeley BART.

Where: Himalayan Flavors, 1585 University Ave., Berkeley (two blocks from North Berkeley BART)

When: Friday, September 27th at 7:00 PM

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  • Mark DeWeese

    Speaker: good. Venue: bad.

    September 28

    • David Dresser

      I do not agree that the venue was bad. Circumstances nearly overwhelmed the situation, but both the restaurateurs and our quite large group rose to the occasion. AND it was worth it. My food, both the brown rice and the lamb Saag were well prepared and delicious. The noise level was a bit high, but Mr. Silverman raised his personal volume. I agree with Larry - Great guy!

      September 28

    • Larry Hicok

      I agree the venue had problems, although I really liked the food. The room was smaller than I remembered it, and there were obvious problems with getting served that would have been nice not to have. Also the background noise was really bad. I should not have declined the mic during setup, but I remembered noise not being a problem in past events. This was a perfect storm for the venue, and they worked really hard. It would be nice to find a better venue for an evening event, but this was the best we could do after over two weeks of seeking. It is still the best. The biggest problem is being close to BART. If someone has a better venue in mind, please email me.

      September 28

  • Larry Hicok

    We were planning on up to 30 people; we got 47, nearly all of whom ordered food. The venue also had a large party in the main dining area. Our room was at capacity for dining at 31, so others ate at the bar or other tables. Service was very slow because the venue was overwhelmed. At one point there was not a spare seat in the whole venue. We delayed the talk until 8:30 so that we could replace some tables by chairs, allowing everyone to enter to hear the talk. Bottom line: Thanks to all of you for being so patient. You are great! And special thanks to Herb, our speaker, who volunteered to talk on an empty stomach. (!!) Seems they lost his order!! He got his food and talked over the loud party in the next room. What a great guy!

    1 · September 28

  • David Dresser

    Great story. A very funny man. I enjoyed this talk immensely.

    September 28

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great speaker

    September 27

  • Wendy

    Bummed that I can't make it. Will he be speaking anywhere else while he's in town?

    September 26

    • Susan F.

      Looks like he's in Santa Rosa on Sunday:
      http://www.herbsilver...­

      1 · September 27

    • Wendy

      Thanks. My provincial view of "in town" was hoping for an added (possibly unadvertised?) session in, say, SF or Oakland. :-)

      September 27

  • jack

    It looks like a an interesting talk. I'll come to eat and then to listen...

    September 25

  • A former member
    A former member

    What a wonderful program! Thank you. And time to meet other members at dinner. You even offer vegan dinner. What more could we ask!

    September 14

  • David Dresser

    I've been reading Herb Silverman for years and like what he has to say. This is a great opportunity to hear him in person. I am glad my plans to be in Seattle on this date got changed. It is great that atheists and humanists are working together for this occasion. I will come hungry.

    September 14

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